Wednesday, July 15, 2009



I hate calling it a "diet" as I'm just adjusting my eating habits and trying to lose the weight I've gained (over the past four months AND over the past 18 or so years!). I do eat healthy but I know that my body has changed since I started going through menopause.

TRUTH: Hormones are an important factor in weight gain.

Whether you are young or old, male or female, rich or poor, live in the north, south, east or west, your weight is effected by your hormones, and depends on if they are in balance or out of balance. (Speaking from personal experience.)
can take a 12 year old pudgy girl of 4'11" and in one summer, remake her body into a knock-out, drop-dead 13 year old of 5'2" without much attention being paid by her. Birth control pills can put on 20-30 pounds without any change in eating or exercise (since they convince your body that you ARE pregnant!).
is when your hormones are on overdrive. The only hope you have is to be more active than ever for many reasons: 1) It will help keep the weight gain down to YOUR minimum. Don't go by others' pregnancies or even your past ones, 2) You will need to build up your strength for the coming baby not try to catch up after, 3) The increased activity will help in getting you involved outside of yourself, improve your attitude, curb mood swings, and help reduce your cravings. This is general advice and for those who are healthy enough to be more active while pregnant.
Menopause changes everything! What worked before, doesn't work now (more about this later on). Tastes change, the effects on your body of food and exercise changes, personality changes, and attitudes change. An extra 10 or 20 pounds above what the "average" is IS NOT a bad thing, it's normal. But weight gain is too easy at this stage and weight loss is next to impossible for some.
NOTE; Men go through these stages too. All of them! Take before and after pregnancy pictures of the "dad" and you'll see what I mean. (This applies to the men who stick around and are involved with their wives/gf/baby's moma during the pregnancy.) Weight gain is effected by hormones.

TRUTH: Genetics can make it impossible for you to ever be a size 0!

You have to be honest with yourself. Look at your relatives and ancestors. Your mother and father and their parents are good indicators of what you will look like when you are older. Don't try to look like Twiggy (size 0) if your mom looks like Mae West (size 16) and for those too young to know who they are, go by the sizes, okay. Be happy with what you were given and work to be strong and healthy (even at size 18!). And forget looking like the supermodels, they are all over 5'9", which is 5 inches over the average height for women!

LIE: If you follow this diet, you'll lose 15 pounds in 30 days! (Or one time truth)

I have found that fad diets, diet pills, short-term meal plans, diet programs (Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, NutriSystem, etc...) ONLY WORK ONCE! Whatever they change in your regular eating habits and whatever they DO to your fat cells (and god knows what else in your body), IT ONLY WORKS THAT ONE TIME. If in a few years (or months) you put the weight back on (or more), it won't work a second time. Your only hope is to find a LIFE DIET that you can follow every day for the rest of your life (barring any hormonal disruptions...see above). If you can find a LIFE DIET that works for you, then you can add and subtract things as you and your body change. Organic and raw foods are the key. Vegetable and fruits the main ingredients. Meats, fish, poultry, and other proteins should also be organic (preservative-free, hormone-free, antibiotic-free...these things are killing us as a nation). Starving yourself, eating foods you don't normally eat, or portions that are too small to satisfy your body's daily needs are all methods that contribute to failure in dieting and weight loss. Proportions made smaller gradually, eliminating one thing (bad) at a time over time, LEAVING SOME ON YOUR PLATE (one of the hardest things to do), eating when you are hungry, training your body to be hungry at certain times, and eating slower so you know you are full before you stop eating, will help with your LIFE DIET.

LIE: This diet will make you lose weight without even exercising!

Exercise is necessary to maintain or lose weight. As you get older (especially over 40!!), you have to exercise MORE to maintain or lose weight. When you are under 40, your metabolism is operating at a higher efficiency. After 40, it declines, so you have to do more to just stay at the weight you are at, if you are still eating the same way. The more sedentary you become (couch potato, lay like broccoli...), the more weight you will gain and in all the wrong places. You must move! MOVE! Move 5 hours every day. That is 20 minutes out of every hour (that most people are awake). If you walk in the grocery store or shopping for an hour, then you can sit at your computer for 3 hours or watch a movie and tv for 3 hours. Recommendations are that you do 30 minutes a day of cardiovascular exercise...raising your heart rate with a brisk walk, bike ride, swimming laps, low impact aerobics, yard work...find what works for you. Dancing is great (dance like nobody is watching for an hour every other day!). MOVE! and keep moving and be thankful that you CAN move.

LIE: Everybody should see the same results in 6 weeks. (Half-truth told about exercise CD/DVDs, equipment, and devices, except those that "do it for you" which are total LIES.)

If you do ANY kind of exercise consistently for six weeks, you will see results!! The results will not be the same for everybody, but there will be a difference in your body from the time you started to the change in six weeks. Everybody will have some strength improvement (as long as there are no underlying medical problems). That alone will improve your attitude and outlook. So MOVE!, start doing some kind of physical movement every day. In a month and a half, you'll see some difference and feel better!

TRUTH: No diet works for everyone. We are all individuals with different needs and wants.

Be careful what you put in your body. Listen to your body and pay attention to what you crave and when, when you are hungry and if you eat when you are NOT hungry. Social situations, emotional upset, habits from upbringing, stress-filled days, economic stress to name a few, can all influence how and what you eat. If you have more weight on your body than you feel is healthy, start paying attention to your body. You are worth it! Try to eat more natural foods, less refined/packaged/convenient/processed/fastfoods...and any change, no matter how small, will result in an improvement you will notice. And the more you try, the better it will be and easier it will become. If you change one thing a week, in two months, that's eight things you've changed. Believe me...YOU WILL SEE IMPROVEMENT. And don't beat yourself up when you splurge, just get back on track the next day. A little reward for effort every once in a while is needed.

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